7 quick (ish) takes of the life of a Svell this Friday:
We are well into year 2 of homeschooling and IT. IS. NOT. EASY. The difficult parts, however, aren’t in the educating of my boys, but in working around the wailings/climbings/needings of Jude and then of Collin (who is mostly a happy participant, but sometimes not.).
Jude is cutting his naps down to one 30 minute snooze, and then waking up to continue his day in a cranky manner –and it’s bullcrap, Jude!
It’s enough time for me to come downstairs and blink vexedly at my cold cup of coffee with three dead gnats floating in it and that’s it. The day lives or dies based on whether Jude naps, so I’ve got to recalibrate because I am just not pleasant, and even Jude knows it: he has learned from observation how to frown and will now do it on command.
I know that signing my boys up for regular school wouldn’t be better. It’d be worse for me, in my opinion. Not only would I have to maintain a set schedule, I’d have to adhere to it with the wailings/climbings/needings of Jude and Collin. And THEN! I’d have to talk! to teachers! and deal!! with fundraisers and unnecessary soul-sucking!!! activities!!!! which aren’t made in consideration of a family of more than one or two kids, nor of a child with special needs, nor of a mom suffering health ailments. And then they’d get home …with homework of all things! and there we’d be again.
So. It’s just a phase. It will be over soon. Yeah, it’s just a–
P H A S E.
I can officially say that Emmett is fully potty trained. I cancelled his last diaper shipment early September and his remaining half pack of diapers is still untouched.
The first day of autumn came and I was struck with a vague prayer memory which I had mentally barked out to God while scrubbing the carpet one early spring day; I’d prayed in a frustrated desperation to have him out of diapers by the end of the summer, knowing for sure it wasn’t going to happen. Telling myself it could be years. I found it easier to cope with by preparing for a really long haul.
We have been gradually working with Emmett for probably a year or more, but started strongly encouraging him by the spring. It has not been easy– I say again, N O T. E A S Y.
For weeks, the days consisted of multiple daily baths for Emmett. Lots of scrubbing clothes in scalding hot water. We’d go through three or four outfits in a day even with a larger sized diaper which by then I had an auto-ship subscription from Amazon.
And then Emmett suddenly understood what he was supposed to do, but didn’t like to sit on the toilet, and also didn’t like to go in his diaper. So he was holding it in all day –I’m not exaggerating. We worried, knowing surely Emmett was suffering stomach aches and a bulging bladder. We went through a brief enough accident trial– the one a parent typically experiences with their 3 year old, except Emmett is five and a half and holding it in for up to 12 hours renders the accident worse in every way one might imagine. We managed a road trip to Florida in the middle of potty training, and our family got a dose of one of the accidents right in the middle of the kitchen.
–BUT it’s done, and I can’t believe it, and glory to God, the One who listens to half-hearted prayer-barkings from a tired mother, and instead of saying “you didn’t say please” bestows His mercy.
I only have one diaper wearing person in the house now! It’s been 6 years since I’ve had that pleasure. Where’s my plaque?
7 YEARS STRONG
…or something far wittier than that -I can’t do it all!
I tried stitchfix for the first time last week. I opened the box in excitement, examined each article in devastation and then burst into tears, promptly stuffing everything into the return bag and feeling ridiculous about crying about it.
I am %100 sure this reaction is actually a result of the few weeks of parenting fun I’ve been having, plus I am still having trouble with my AS. The dumb looming phantom of the year.
It’s true, the clothes were all made completely of rayon (I specified cotton! B*tchy first-world-problems voice!) and though they looked like they were pulled from the racks of Target with a teenager in mind (I linked to my Pinterest board!), they were priced triple the amount. (No exaggeration. TRIPLE. $80 for something I might pay $20 for.)
I’ll just stick to Target prices and online shopping, then, thanks. Or maybe I’ll try Stitckfix another time, when I’m not so emotionally prickly and hinging my happiness on a mystery bag of clothes.
Fast forward to today and currently Emmett is enamored with Coldplay. And I won’t tell you I’m not in love with that because it’s a life goal of mine to get to another concert before the group stops touring. Their concerts are nothing other than magical.
Emmett tinkers on the piano and I’ve shown him some pathetic attempts to play simple chords along to some of his favorite Coldplay songs which I’ve learned via YouTube.
Craig and I believe there’s a chance Emmett would absolutely explode in creative expression if given the right instruction musically– neither of us are educated on the subject. Maybe Craig is a little more than I. I know what I do from YouTube University.
It’s only just occurred to me to allow Emmett to watch people making music –and something other than nursery rhymes. Why do they think we all like nursery rhymes!? We’ve been letting him listen, and then we’ve been sitting with him at the piano, we started formal lessons with him last week.
But connect the two, you idiot!
For some reason I find videos of live performances really annoying. And that’s probably why I never thought about it until now.
Monday, I sat with him and said, “Emmett. Let’s watch Coldplay. This is Chris Martin. Hi Chris Martin! Chris Martin sings your songs, Emmett. Chris Martin sings your Coldplay songs. Chris Martin makes your songs with a piano”
(When introducing a new concept, I rearrange sentences in verbal communication a few different ways for Emmett to get a grasp on the message, and give him a prolonged moment to think about what I’ve just told him.)
I played Emmett’s recent favorite Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall from a concert in Paris on YouTube. As it began, I watched Emmett closely.
Here’s the link if you’re interested: [ Coldplay Paris ] It’s actually pretty moving viewing it after the Paris attack.
When the camera focused in on Chris Martin, and there was no doubt that the sounds coming from his mouth were the lyrics and that this was in fact the voice Emmett knows and loves so much, his excitement was a heartbreaking loveliness to me.
Emmett smiled as Martin played the piano to a song he goes to sleep humming, and wakes up with -still on his lips.
“Chris Martin! Chris Martin sings it! It’s COLDPLAY!” Emmett burst out, thrusting his hands in the air with his signature stimming expression.
I couldn’t even sing along at this point, I was so choked up, but I listened, completely taken by the privilege of watching this connection happening.
I don’t know if it’ll go anywhere beyond simply enjoying good music, for Emmett. Maybe he’ll pick up piano, maybe not.
I am so so so happy that he has a wonderful thing to enjoy in his life, something that we can share with him in enjoyment.
And right there, folks, is where that good stuff lies. Not in a bag of new clothes.